Written by Rick Nelson Friday, 11 January 2008 00:00
There are three contact points on the bike; the grips, the saddle and the pedals and to be comfortable on a bike these all need to be carefully considered. Serious riders do tend to think a lot about their saddles and pedals. They will find a brand and style that works for them and have them on all of their bikes because they are so important. Grips don’t usually get that kind of respect.
I have to admit that I was guilty of this as well. I had developed a fondness for ODI lock-on grips but hadn’t gotten to the point that I HAD to have them on all bikes and if I bought a complete bike that didn’t have lock-ons I was fine with them until they wore out.
That all changed last season. Over the course of the spring I found that both my Salsa grips and my lock-ons were causing me great pain in the hands (in the form of bruising and blistering) during all but the shortest rides. It was during this time that I first heard about Ergon grips. I was interested in their new design that spread out the pressure on the hands but I had yet to see any in person and because they are comparatively expensive I was reluctant to buy a set to try out. Thankfully I was given the opportunity to try a pair of their team green GP1’s which I promptly mounted on my rigid El Mariachi.
Because of their unique, platform like, shape set-up takes a bit longer than typical grips but after a bit of adjustment and some trial and error out on the trail I hit the sweet spot and found that the grips completely eliminated my hand pain. The platform spread the forces out sufficiently enough that I was now able to ride for hours on end without any discomfort. Rock-on!
For my hands, the grips are a perfect combination of comfort and control. The tacky rubber has the perfect amount of give without feeling too squishy and the platform gives the heel of your hand a nice place to sit both when you’re just noodling along and when you’re pounding through the rough stuff.
OK, that’s the good stuff, now for the bad. All of this comfort does come at a bit of a price, both in weight and in price. These grips sell for double or triple of what most other grips cost and because of the heel platform they are a tiny bit heavier than most. With that said, the minor weight disadvantage is easy to forget about when you realize how comfy they are (plus the new GX line, available in February, will be much lighter) and as far as the price goes, you get what you pay for, they cost a bit more but are well worth it.
Also of note, if you lean more towards the freeride side of things you’ll want to try out the GE line of grips since they are more suitable to that sort of terrain.
Just like saddles and pedals, Ergon grips probably aren’t for everyone but if you ever find yourself in the market for new grips give these a look. As a matter of fact, I’ve got two more sets of grip-shift compatible grips coming so if you want to give them a shot, give me a shout and I’ll let you try them our for a few rides.
And now a little disclaimer. When I started writing this review (Several weeks ago. What can I say? I’m a slacker) I was not sponsored by Ergon. Now I am but the only thing that changed in my review as a result is the fact that I will now have an extra set of grips for others to try out. Win, win for everyone if you ask me!
Excerpts from "Racin' Rick"
The Complete "Racin' Rick"
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